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Mason Hemstreet
February 2, 2022

Pre-Med Major and Scholar-Athlete Follows Step-by-Step Plan to Medical School

Mason Hemstreet ’22, a biochemistry major on a pre-med track, found everything he was looking for in a college at Berry: a pre-health program that boasts a 98% medical school acceptance rate, a beautiful and nature-based campus, and a program where he could play soccer while balancing his studies.

“Berry does a fantastic job of preparing you for graduate and medical school,” Mason says. “By creating a learning environment that is fostered around growth rather than simply grades, students excel.” He will attend Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn, Alabama.

Mason is quick to point out the coaching received by students exploring healthcare — from medicine and dentistry to pharmacy and physical therapy. As Berry’s pre-health advisor, Clinical Assistant Professor of Health Professions Chris Mingone provides an overview of healthcare fields in the course Introduction to Health Professions. Step-by-step guidance entails choosing courses required by graduate and professional schools, identifying resume-building opportunities, taking qualifying examinations such as the MCAT, applying and interviewing.

“For me, Dr. Mingone and Lauren Hahn [a pre-med mentor now at Mercer Medical School] had the largest impact on me because they not only helped me map out exactly what I needed to do during my four years at Berry, but also how to think and study to prepare for what the future would bring to me,” he says. By his junior year, Mason stepped into the role of student pre-health advisor, mentoring other pre-med students. 

Mason adds that Berry’s pre-health committee held practice sessions for medical school and offered career advice. “They gave me feedback on my personal statement as well as my path to help me best succeed,” he says. 

To round out his resume, Mason turned to Associate Professor of Biochemistry Dominic Qualley for hands-on mentoring in research. During seasonal breaks, he gained hours of experience shadowing physicians and working as a patient care technician at UAB Hospital in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Mason also minored in business, saying, “Once I graduate, I plan to use my business minor to stay knowledgeable and informed about my personal financial decisions.”  

Mason fully embraced his experience as a scholar-athlete playing soccer for Berry. “I got to live the best of both worlds,” he says. “Not only did I get all the opportunities that all students have, but I also represented my school in a competitive atmosphere. While many times it was hard to do both, there is nothing a little hard work can’t fix.”

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